Visualizing and Managing Technical Debt in Agile Development: An Experience Report

  • Paulo Sérgio Medeiros dos Santos
  • Amanda Varella
  • Cristine Ribeiro Dantas
  • Daniel Beltrão Borges
Part of the Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing book series (LNBIP, volume 149)


This paper reports the experience of an architecture team of a software development department with 25 agile teams in supporting technical decisions regarding technical practices. The main motivation to use technical debt metaphor was its acknowledged potential in driving software development and maintenance decisions, especially those long term maintenance tradeoffs which are usually less visible to developers and decision makers in general. We propose the use of a "technical debt board" with main technical debt categories to manage and visualize the high-level debt, combined with tools to measure it at low-level (software metrics and other kind of static analysis). We have found that our approach improved the teams’ awareness about the technical debt, stimulated a beneficial competition between teams towards the debt payment and enhanced the communication regarding technical decisions.


technical debt software quality visualization agile practices 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paulo Sérgio Medeiros dos Santos
    • 1
  • Amanda Varella
    • 2
  • Cristine Ribeiro Dantas
    • 2
  • Daniel Beltrão Borges
    • 2
  1. 1.System Engineering and Computer Science DepartmentFederal University of Rio de Janeiro, Cidade Universitária – Centro de Tecnologia.Rio de JaneiroBrazil
  2. 2.Petrobras, Exploitation and Production Business Solutions, CentroRio de JaneiroBrazil

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